"Discovery", VR Storytelling Project
--- "Worlds On A Wire" VR Summer 2017 Course, NYU
In 2167, because of the global warming and climate changing, the sea level keep raising and most of the globe is underwater. The environment out there was almost destroyed and hard for living. So human beings then started to move and live under the sea...
The project aims to take advantage of the immersive experience that VR (Virtual Reality) provided, and tell a short story in VR. The whole piece is developed in Unreal Engine 4, and watched in Oculus Rift.
It is my first VR project from the course of "Worlds on a wire", Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP), instructed by Todd Bryant.
At the Finals of the class, I showcased the piece "Discovery" at NYU Tishch, and it was the very first time I demoed to the public. It was just a small showcasing, the instructor asked us to invite our friends, and he also invited some people from the industry to see the class demos.
I love how people reacted when they put on the headset immediately, the "Wow!" sounds people made had brought me more motivation to develop in Virtual Reality. I also received some great feedbacks about the project, and I would keep working on the piece to make the whole experience better and more entertaining.
The whole experience for the audience is sitting on a chair and watching the short film. At the demo night, more than twenty people came to watch "Discovery".
Developing Progress, Class Blog
Every class we learned some skills of developing in VR, including how to use Unreal Engine 4, how to make some simple 3D contents, motion capture... etc. I updated each practiced I had to the blog.
Class 9 & Class 10
Made the assets of Sophia's father Jack and the underwater mutant. Also, I built the scenes from the storyboards and put the models in the environments.
I'll keep working on the environment and also move on to the audio parts. Then I'll do the sequencer and put the cameras for several scenes.
VR Narrative film "The Discovery"
Storyboards for "The Discovery"
First Scene. "The Underwater World."
Showing the environment of the underwater city, the building, the spaceship-like vehicle.
Second Scene. "Sophia & Jack's Conversation"
Indoor scene, Sophia is talking to her father Jack. They have a little argument. Sophia really wants to go out of the sea to see how does outside world look like, but her father tells her that it is really dangerous going above the sea. There has some dangerous creatures along the way, and human beings have stopped going above the sea, because there's nothing out there and the trip's danger and not worth it. However, Sophia is really curious about the above sea world and has her own fantasy of it. It ends of her dad Jack tells her seriously that no matter what, do not go outside of the city.
Third Scene. "Let's Go Have Some Adventure"
Sophia does not follow her father's words, and escapes without her father's noticing, swimming toward the way of the surface.
I'm thinking of making the audience as the part of the story. So while Sophia's going to swim, she will turn her head to the audience, and says, "Follow me! Let's go see what's out there!" Then the audience will follow her.
Fourth Scene. "The Chasing of Mutant"
As Sophia swims, she then encounters a underwater creature, it's a mutant monster. "Oh wow! It's a wild monster there, we must not let it notice us." However, the monster still notices Sophia and starts to chase her. Then she quickly turns around and tries to get away from the creature. (Still chasing by the monster)
The scene will be following the Sophia and monster still keeps chasing, but eventually losing her and Sophia's safe, and she almost reaches to the surface.
Fifth Scene. "The Discovery"
Sophia finally gets out of the sea, but she finds out the truth is just like what her father's saying, there's barely nothing out there. "Ah..., father was right. There's no more beautiful landscape and trees and flowers out there anymore..." Sophia is disappointed about her discovery and says, "I hope I could have the chance to witness how beautiful the Earth is before human destroyed most of the natural environment and forced ourselves to live under the sea. (Sign)".
The End of the story.
Sophia's Dad, Jack
The underwater creature
Midterm Proposal --- VR Narrative film "The Discovery"
In 2167 year, because of global warming and climate changes, the sea level raises and most of the globe is underwater. There has almost no lands left for human to live. So most of the population of the world starts to live underwater. The advanced technology allows human to live in the underwater environment.
Because the surface above the sea is way too hot and almost no lives out there, so human almost stop going up above the water. After generation and generation, a lot of people even forget that human once lived on the land..., and some people even say that it is dangerous out there above the sea, having some wild beasts that will eat human alive.
Sophia lives under the water for her entire life, one day she found out the fact that human once lives on the land, so she decided to go see what it looks like above the sea, but discovers that there's barely nothing out there.
The Discovery Concept video:
I tried to build the environment for the story, trying to think how the world will be like at that time, and put them into a short video.
I added the effects for the under water scene by using the "Post Process Volumes" , and changed the color and other detail features, making the scene under water looked more real.
Timeline and sequence practice.
Class 3 & 4
This week I started to think about what my project's environment would be like, and tried to brianstorm and create a mood board for a character that would live in that world.
I am thinking to make a underwater environment for people to explore, because that kind of experience would be difficult for people to have. What it would be like to walk and explore under the ocean? For me, the world under the water is always mysterious and fascinating, so with VR, people could easily wander underwater, and that must be cool and interesting.
So I tried to push the idea further, with some narratives for the world I'd like to create. I am thinking in the future, most of the population of the world would live under ocean, because of the global warming caused the rising of sea levels, and there would be merely lands left, so people started to move and live under the ocean. So I am thinking of creating a world of underwater city, and people living under ocean start to explore the massive, unknown environment.
Some of my inspirations:
Class 1 & 2
This week we started to get familiar with the functions and features in Unreal Engine 4. I created a scene of swamp, trying to put some planets, flowers in it, and I migrated some assets from some example scenes from Unreal Engine, for instance, Blueprints, and Water Planes.
The scene is about a man having an adventure in a unknown area, and he's trying to cross the swamp. He doesn't know what creatures he's going to encounter, or what kind of things will happen later, but he's not afraid of them, because he loves exploring unknown places and taking adventures.
VR Gameplay: The Lab, Longbow
The VR game I played in HTC VIVE's The Lab was Longbow. It is an archery based game, and the player is tasked to defend a castle gate against the invaders while standing on the castle walls. The two motion controllers are used to aim and fire a bow, with one controller acting as the bow shaft and another one as the arrow.
I really love this game for it is simple and easy to play. When playing in VR made me not disturb by outside environment, so I can focusing in it. The immersive feeling was making me addicted in the game. The precise of control was really good and I really enjoyed shooting around in VR. I kept playing again and again after I failed, and I was not getting broad. I really enjoy the game.